page title icon How To Write Auction Headlines When Selling Websites

Possibly one of the most over looked aspects of listing your website for sale on auction sites like Flippa is the headline. Aside from traffic and revenue stats, your headline may make or break the sale. After all, if your headline doesn’t interest a buyer to take a closer look, then the buyer will never place a bid! Your headline needs to stand out from the crowd and command attention.

There are two types of websites that are sold on a regular basis on sites like Flippa – startups and established websites. Startups are just that – websites that have just been launched and have little to no traffic and revenue. Established websites have been around for a while and typically have traffic or revenue and usually both. Each type of website requires a different type of headline.

Startup Website Headline Formula
Niche + Potential + Automation + Uniqueness

When flipping a startup website, your headline should include as many of those elements that apply. Here is a breakdown of what each element is about:

Niche: This one is obvious – state the niche. Example: Forex niche

Potential: With a startup you likely won’t have any revenue so you should mention something about its potential. You could literally say, “Lots of potential” or state a specific figure – “Make $30/Sale”

Automation: Buyers want websites that are easy to manage. If you have an autoblog highlight it by saying it’s an “autoblog” or that the site is “automated.” If it’s a community driven website say something like, “Content created for you.” The point is you want to highlight something that is easy or automated about the site. And if you’re startup is selling an ebook and you have all the elements in place to promote it (i.e. sales page, videos, integrated checkout, etc.) highlight it. Example: Includes total package – sales page, videos, and more.

Uniqueness: Is there something unique about your startup? Is the design or content unique? Or maybe the site itself is a unique concept. Whatever it is, say it in the headline. Example: 100% unique content

Now let’s see this formula in action. Here are 10 headlines taken “as-is” from recent startups that sold on Flippa. I have also provided the number of bids the auction received and what it sold for.

Elegant SILVER INVESTMENT website for Sale, Fully Automated, HIGH DEMAND NICHE
(3 bids/$247)

Amazing eCommerce Software Store – Instant Payments – Built in Affiliate Program
(4 bids/$410)

Automated Forex Robot Niche Blog with Authority Review Site
(7 bids/$297)

Clickbank Ready High-End,2 HOUR TWITTER VIDEO PACKAGE,Earn $47/sale,3 Days Only!
(3 bids/$397)

Automated ORGANIC GARDEN Site – Custom Design, Store, Video, 1 DAY AUCTION
(4 bids/$197)

Clickbank Ready VIDEO PACKAGE w/ Video Squeeze Page & Turnkey Marketing System!
(3 bids/$397)

UNIQUE DESIGNED iPhone4 Niche Blog worth $385, LOW Reserve for 5 DAYS only!
(3 bids/$357)

Fully Optimized HEALTH & BEAUTY site for Sale, Page 1 on Google and Yahoo
(10 bids/$247)

Auto Insurance – Make $100/Day – 1 Day Only, Low Reserve
(13 bids/$315)

Freelance Niche Auto-Blog, Mini-site, Squeeze Page, Product; Unique Design
(8 bids/$197)

Established Website Formula
Revenue + Traffic + Ranking/PR + Niche

Headlines for established websites are more factual and to the point and not as “salesy” as headlines for startups. The two most important things you can highlight in the headline for an established website is the revenue and traffic – and in that order. Here is a breakdown of each element:

Revenue:What is the site earning? If it’s earning consistently every month, then state the monthly revenue (i.e. “Earns $400/month). If the revenue is inconsistent or a one-time deal because of a product launch or something, then give a total (i.e. “Made $15,000”).

Traffic: If the traffic is large give a monthly figure, and if it’s growing then say so (i.e. “10,000 uniques/mo. & growing”). If it has little traffic but is growing then say something like, “Traffic Climbing,” or “Traffic Growing Monthly.” Finally, if your membership or email list, or RSS subscribers is just as impressive as your traffic (or more impressive) highlight those figures as well and if you don’t have room for both, go with the one that is most impressive.

Ranking/PR: Most established sites have rankings and PR. It goes without saying to highlight the PR but if your site ranks very well for a very popular keyword in your niche, highlight that as well (i.e. “PR3 – Ranks #1 in Google”).

Niche: State the niche and if room allows and if it makes sense, literally state the website is established (i.e. “Established Forex site”).

Now let’s see this formula in action. Here are 10 randomly selected headlines from recent established websites that sold on Flippa:

Top ClickBank Product $25 – $30k in Sales – Averaged $4k Per Month So Far
(55 bids/$20,000)

PR 5 -Your Own Personal CASH MACHINE – 11,700 Email Members, 6,000 Forum Members
(36 bids/$4,100) – this site had little revenue – Profitable, Tons of media exposure!
(31 bids/$2,500) – this site had little revenue

Wedding site, Adsense over $600 per month, PR2, 2 years old
(31 bids/$10,505)

Premium 4 Year Old Popular Entertainment Site Earning $575 Monthly
(23 bids/$3,999) #1 in Google! Laser Targeted Poker Traffic
(18 bids/$4,000) – this site had no revenue

High Traffic Google News Approved Site – Get To Page One of Google Quickly
(14 bids/$2,100) – this site had little revenue

PR3 iPad Blog : $700 In Affiliate Income One Month
(12 bids/$2,500)

#2 in Google,great niche,huge potential stable profit
(12 bids/$3,500)

$150 per Month, Established Adsense Website, Since 2008, PR2
(6 bids/$1,950)

Other Do’s and Don’ts


@LOOK@ Don’t Use Excessive Characters Like This To Draw Attention!

Capitalize The First Letter Of Each Word In Your Title

Don’t ALTERNATE between no caps And Some Caps LIKE THIS

Don’t waste valuable headline space by stating the domain in the headline UNLESS you have a premium, high-value domain or if it tells the buyer what the site is about. For example, if is the domain I would highlight that in the headline because it’s a premium domain and it tells the buyer what the niche is without having to say, “Stock trading niche,” in my headline.

Don’t lie. If you made a $30 commission selling one widget on your startup, don’t multiply that by 30 and state something like, “Makes $900/month,” in your headline. I have actually seen this done before!

By applying these formulas and the do’s and don’ts, you will be able to craft headlines that will make your website auctions stand out from the crowd!

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Analyzed by Mushfiq S

Mushfiq has been buying, growing, and selling website assets since 2008. His first exit was in 2010. Since then, he has done 175 website flips with multiple 6-figure exits. Learn more about Mushfiq.

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